We Went to the Super Bowl With Kaskade: Go Inside the Stadium With the First In-Game DJ

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Billboard was in the booth with Kaskade as he played for tens of thousands in Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium (and millions at home) as the NFL's first Super Bowl DJ.

Kaskade on his DJ platform at the 2024 Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Kaskade on his DJ platform at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the 2024 Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 11. Mark Owens

LAS VEGAS — It turns out Kaskade found out he was DJing at the Super Bowl not too long before the rest of us did.

In fact, his first time seeing the elevated DJ platform in the stands behind the end zone where he would spin throughout the game on Sunday (Feb. 11) was that day, minutes before he performed a pre-game concert that soundtracked the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs warming up on the field.

“This will be my first moment. We’ll experience it together,” Kaskade (real name: Ryan Raddon) told Billboard with a smile as we shadowed him all day Sunday throughout Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium for his gig as the Super Bowl’s first in-game DJ — a job that was only formally announced by the NFL on Thursday after Tiësto had to back out due to a “personal family emergency” earlier that day. Kaskade’s primary team had arrived days earlier in Vegas while the DJ played a long-scheduled gig at Montreal’s Igloofest on Friday night to make sure that everything was ready for him, and after wrapping his first set on Sunday, he was happy to report of the previously mysterious DJ booth: “It all works. I’m like, ‘OK, it’s plugged in, there’s power, we’re good.'”

Kaskade said the trickiest part about the last-minute gig was weaving some pump-up song requests from the two Super Bowl teams into his setlist for their pre-game warm-ups, including a pair of Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s by Drake (“God’s Plan” and “Jimmy Cooks” with 21 Savage) and DJ Snake’s “Turn Down for What” featuring Lil Jon, who would be one of Usher’s surprise halftime show guests later that day. The most time-consuming part of incorporating the new songs? Making sure all the lyrics were safe for the Super Bowl’s family audience, Kaskade says.

The players clearly appreciated the tailored playlist, with the Chiefs’ Isiah Pacheco performing an impromptu end-zone dance to “God’s Plan” during warm-ups. (“Some of them were feeling it,” Kaskade laughed afterward.)

Along with the pre-game special requests, Kaskade also worked in some more esoteric choices, like Odd Mob and OMNOM’s “Losing Control.” And when it came time for his two DJ moments during the game — one between the first and second quarters and one between the third and fourth — Kaskade stuck to what he knows best: playing the vibey “Escape,” his 2023 Kx5 song with longtime collaborator deadmau5 (“Hi. I just played Escape to 100 million people,” Kaskade posted to X after), as well as his party-starter “Fun,” a 2019 team-up with Brohug and Mr. Tape featuring Madge. He also got a chance to enjoy a bit of the nail-biter game (which the Chiefs won in overtime), taking a seat right in front of his platform alongside his wife and daughters and the rest of his team during breaks.

For a closer look at a day in the life of a Super Bowl DJ, follow along with Billboard as we embed with Team Kaskade at the big game.

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